- The Plate
Growth Promoters for Farm Animals: What If They Just Don’t Work?
The practice of giving food animals small doses of antibiotics has been around since at least the 1940s. In the earliest days they were used, these so-called growth promoters conferred huge benefits, sometimes doubling the weight of animals without requiring more feed.
But what if they no longer work? That’s the provocative question raised in a report by the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, a British project that has been examining the best way to control antibiotic use on farms—and the antibiotic resistance that results—for more than a year.
The main thrust of the Review report released Monday in London is a proposal to set internationally agreed-to limits on how much on-farm antibiotics any country can use. This runs counter to control policies created by Europe and the